What is well established by research and not open for discussion is that physiologic sleep is eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, seven hours is second best, and nine hours is third. Everything else is broken.
I’m addressing everyone who experience broken sleep. When you don’t sleep well—and realize your health suffers from the deprivation of proper rest—you have to treat the symptom. Of course there are medications available, but the most recently introduced medication to the market for sleep had a staggering 1016 adverse drug reactions reported within the first 6 months. Some people do well with melatonin, 3-20mg at bedtime. My mom fixed her sleep issue with 700 mg of Passion Flower.
But after you figure out how to control the symptom, the spiritual question remains, “Why am I not sleeping?” There could be a number of external reasons; such as a barking dog outside the house, a crying baby, etc. I believe the number one reason that people don’t sleep is because they’re riding sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coaster. There are several factors that can cause this. For example, the hormonal roller coaster. Examples of this could be moving from childhood into puberty, regular menses into menopause, or days before a menstruation cycle.
Another cause of sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coaster is skipping breakfast. I prefer that my patients eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up. Otherwise, they can wake up with a healthy blood sugar number, start doing a number of things—such as walk up the stairs to wake up the kids, fix their lunch, walk out into the driveway to take out the trash, etc.—and their blood sugar will drop.
When blood sugar gets low enough, the brain “doesn’t like it” and will send a signal to the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline. This has a number of effects. The brain’s immediate purpose is for adrenaline to break down storage sugar in the liver, called liver glycogen, to raise the blood sugar to get the brain happy again. This is important because the brain “runs the show” in the body.
The problem is the adrenaline effects aren’t just confined to the liver. It triggers the heart to race, the pupils to dilate—everything that prepares the body for fight or flight. Unfortunately, adrenaline oxidizes the cells and causes accelerated aging as well.
Not respecting food allergies and sensitivities can cause sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coaster. For example, let’s say that you are part of the 40 %( !!!) of the population that is gluten sensitive, and you’re unaware of it. If you eat gluten, that can cause an adrenaline spike, which will lead to glycogen breakdown, raising your blood sugar. This elevated sugar then stimulates the release of insulin to lower the blood sugar. Many people secrete too much insulin, resulting (about 2 hours later) in low blood sugar, and the cycle continues. This can continue all the way into the night, and obviously you can’t sleep if you have the fight or flight hormone coursing through your veins.
A study, published by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, reveals there’s a direct link between overactive adrenals and insomnia.
Of all the things that cause sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coaster, in my opinion, the number one thing that causes it is Candida overgrowth in the body. Candida is analogous to mold on bread. Obviously, if bread sits long enough, mold will consume it. Candida is caused by a lifetime exposure to antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, pregnancy, living or flying at altitude, or eating sugar.
About now you may be thinking, “Well that’s everybody.” And you would be correct. Besides the sleeping factor, managing Candida important for your overall health as well.
Being watchful and monitoring your sugar-insulin-adrenaline roller coaster will place you on healthy track so you catch those well-deserved ZZZ’s.